If you are involved in a long-term committed relationship and you are not legally married, estate planning is especially important for you.
If you are involved in a same-sex relationship, unless you live in (or travel to) one of the handful of states that recognize same-sex unions, the choice to get legally married is really not available to you. So, for GLBT couples the execution of the appropriate legal documents is the only way that you can make sure that your partner has certain rights that he or she would automatically have if you were legally married.
Expressing how you want your property divided is one part of estate planning for the GLBT community, and it is important to realize there are many ways of going about this beyond the creation of a last will. The best way to proceed will vary depending on the specifics of the case in question.
There is also a health care and incapacity component to consider when you are creating a comprehensive estate plan as a gay person involved in a domestic partnership. You have to express your thoughts regarding the use of certain medical procedures if you were in a terminal condition, and this is done through the execution of a living will.
You also probably want your partner to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to make them for yourself. This could be achieved through the creation of a durable medical power of attorney.
Estate planning is important for all, but it is especially vital for gay couples. To get the ball rolling, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an experienced San Jose area estate planning attorney.